Former South African President P.W. Botha dies


1. PW Botha, former South African president, and fiancee arriving by car at George town magistrates court
2. Botha getting out of car, waving to supporters and giving the "thumbs up" sign
3. African National Congress (ANC) supporters behind barbed wire fence
4. Botha entering court room and walking towards press
5. Cutaway of press, pan to Botha
6. SOUNDBITE: (Afrikaans) PW. Botha, Former South African president:
"I am not prepared to apologise for the lawful acts of my government to fight against the onslaught against it."
7. PW Botha and fiancee Reinette Te W Naude outside court
South Africa's last hardline white president P.W. Botha died late on Tuesday, according to the South African Press Association (SAPA).
He was 90-years old.
SAPA quoted security staff at his home on the southern Cape coast as saying that he died at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) at his home in the village of Wilderness, where he had spent his final years in seclusion from the changes taking place in the new multi-racial South Africa.
P.W Botha led the country through its worst racial violence and deepest international isolation.
Known for his finger-wagging, confrontational style and nicknamed the "Old Crocodile" for his feared temper, Botha served as head of the white-led government from 1978 to 1989.
Throughout his leadership he resisted mounting pressure to release South Africa's most famous political prisoner, Nelson Mandela, who was freed by Botha's successor, F.W. de Klerk in 1990.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel set up by Mandela's government to look into abuses within the country, concluded in 1998 that Botha was guilty of gross human rights violations by ordering killings and bombings.
When he appeared at the George town magistrates court, Botha said he would not apologise for the actions of his government.
His failing health helped him escape prosecution and he spent his final years in seclusion rather than in jail.
Botha was a symbol of resistance for many Afrikaners, the Dutch-descended white settlers of South Africa, who made up the core support of the National Party, which implemented apartheid.

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